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How to Fish a Chalkstream at Mayfly Time

How to Fish a Chalkstream at Mayfly Time
LeeB
by
In our latest video guide, we take you through fishing on a chalkstream at prime mayfly time! Mayfly are the most beautiful of our aquatic insects - they also one of the tastiest food items for fish and birdlife at this time of year, a chance to fatten up on some big juicy insects! They hold a special place in the hearts of fly anglers and it's no surprise to find our chalkstream beats fully booked by keen fly fishers during the all too short season.

Whilst the calendar may not agree, for me the mayfly season marks nature's way of transiting spring into summer. Its summer proper when the mayfly hatches peter out. The peak weeks of the season are often referred to as 'duffer's fortnight' although you may find it pays not to be a duffer and to have a few tricks up your sleeve at mayfly time!

We hope you find our film interesting and enjoyable - our two filming sessions were challenging from a fishing perspective. Both days we had unseasonably cold winds and erratic hatches of mayfly. You will have to watch the film to see how we got on!



The river fishing at Dever Springs is available on a day ticket to visiting anglers but must be booked in advance.

Our tackle for the day was as follows: Please call us at Sportfish Reading on 0118 9303860 for help and advice on fishing our local chalkstreams.

If you enjoyed our mayfly video guide… please leave your comments below – it’s great to share & chat! You can also share with all your friends via our social sharing buttons below.

Mayfly are the most beautiful of our aquatic insects - they also one of the tastiest food items for fish and birdlife at this time of year, a chance to fatten up on some big juicy insects! They hold a special place in the hearts of fly anglers and it's no surprise to find our chalkstream beats fully booked by keen fly fishers during the all too short season.

Whilst the calendar may not agree, for me the mayfly season marks nature's way of transiting spring into summer. Its summer proper when the mayfly hatches peter out. The peak weeks of the season are often referred to as 'duffer's fortnight' although you may find it pays not to be a duffer and to have a few tricks up your sleeve at mayfly time!

‘Duffers’ Fortnight’ is that magical period when the mayfly hatch reaches its crescendo and, supposedly, anyone can catch!

The truth of the matter is not quite what folklore would have us believe. Mayfly hatches have tended to be somewhat unpredictable – both in number and timing – in recent years and if you want to make the most of what is still a marvellous time to be on the rivers you need to be on top of your game.

Thankfully Jonathan Tomlinson and Chris Hayward are always on top of their game and offer some brilliant tactical advice on making the most of the mayfly hatch in our handy Sportfish videos.

Essential Mayfly Tackle

Following on from this film that Chris and I made on the Lower Itchen Fishery, looking at our tactical approach to mayfly fishing, I’ve been asked to elaborate a little on the three key items of mayfly fishing tackle that I employ at this time of year, namely my choice of rod, reel and line.

Mayfly time is one of the very few times of the year when I ever reach for a heavier line than usual and many anglers struggle to turn over those very large patterns that have the aerodynamics of a house brick!

With this in mind a #5 rod is the order of the day and I prefer to have a 9 footer, and my favourite rod on the market is the Sage R8. This rod is beautifully crisp, has lots of feel and feedback through the blank and is powerful - but able to deliver effortless delicacy and accuracy.

JT releasing a brownie in the river, keeping the fish wetJT releasing a brownie in the river, keeping the fish wet
JT releasing a brownie

Team this up with the RIO Premier Gold fly line and you have a match made in heaven. This three-tone line allows me to manage my distance very easily and has a fast-loading WF taper that can turn over even the most awkward of flies without compromising presentation.

This line is loaded on the the Tital reels from the guys at Greys. Light in weight, excellent value, with a great smooth drag system plus... it looks awesome!

Together with our video you should now be prepared for one of the most exciting times of year to be out on the river!

If you enjoyed our mayfly video guide… please leave your comments below – it’s great to share & chat! You can also share with all your friends via our social sharing buttons.


Recommended Mayfly Gear

2024-02-27 16:55:00
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